5-7 August 2018, NEC Birmingham

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From work to workout


As the industry gears up for the launch of Moda Body/Active, new research indicates that athleisure continues to be one of the most significant sectors across both womenswear and lingerie. Industry analyst Trendalytics has revealed that athleisure has event permeated the workplace, increasing its value and appeal to fashion buyers across the spectrum. 

“Athleisure is more than just a term defining activewear; it has become a lifestyle movement, and this explains why it is permeating workwear,” says Trendalytics’ CEO Karen Moon. “Athleisure now cycles through seasons and trends rise and fall accordingly. Going to the gym – and where you go – is now part of your fashion status, and everything you wear in-between is an opportunity to make a fashion statement.”

Moon’s theory is supported by a recent survey carried out by industry analyst Lifestyle Monitor. Investigating how the workwear market is changing, the survey found that more than a third of respondents – 34 per cent - now wear casual clothes to work. Considering that around 20 per cent of female respondents had little choice as to how they dress to work because they wear a uniform, the figure suggests that the idea of having a different, smarter wardrobe for work is dated. Only five per cent of female respondents in fact claimed to wear conservative business suits on a day to day basis. 

Presuming then, that casualwear in the workplace is now a given, the only question on the minds of apparel buyers is what sort of workwear women are favouring when they head out to the office of a morning. And this is where – according to the latest research – that athleisure really is the sector to watch. 

Now free from the constraints of owning and wearing a separate “smart” wardrobe for office hours, women are blurring the boundaries further with apparel that transcends all aspects of their lives – including fitness and active pursuits. 

“Athluxe and femleisure are both trends on the rise, with unexpected pairings such as designer pieces worn with sneakers,” says Moon. “The new look is about mixing in athletic-inspired garments for a style that is put together without too much effort.”

Interestingly however, despite the increasingly popularity as versatile fitness wear, the price of leggings has dropped by nine per cent according to a report produced by business news analyst Bloomberg last year. The price drop indicates saturation in the market, suggesting that – although demand for athleisure may be on the increase – the availability of very generic items – such as leggings – could drive down prices for retailers. 

As buyers start to look to s/s 18, the advice is to seek out the garments that tick all the boxes or athleisure aesthetics and lifestyle versatility, while maintaining enough of a point of difference to protect a reasonable price point in store. 

Moda Body/Active promises to deliver on all points, having diversified from its successful introduction as Moda Active last year. Now offering a complete range of activewear and athleisure, Moda Body/Active will target both womenswear and intimate apparel buyers when it launches in August. 

“Athleisure means bridging the gap between sports brands and streetwear fashion brands,” says Mark Smith, country manager for Puma, one of Moda Active’s exhibitors. “Nowadays we have busy lives, and we want to take the best out of everything. Therefor we see a need in clothing and bodywear that are comfortable and fashionable at the same time. We see that this trend is extending globally, especially within the millennial group, which we see as our target group as well.”

Discover Moda Body/Active at the NEC on 6-8 August this season. 



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